Soon, “I got an agent there, who is still my agent today. She called me about a month later and said, ‘I have an appointment for you with Franca Sozzani,’” the famous editor of Italian Vogue. “I remember that meeting very clearly, because I was so intimidated by her that I couldn't look her in the eye. She reviewed my book, then slid it back to me. I thought she was going to say, ‘Thanks but no thanks,’ but she said, ‘OK, give me a story. I want 10 pages.’”

So what has people beating down the door to work with the boy from Elkins? “Greg possesses an unerring visual aesthetic,” says Amy Adams, creative director of Neiman Marcus, who has assigned him to shoot “everything from Armani to Zegna” since 2004. “He's on of those perfectionists that can find joy in spontaneity and communicate broad messages via subtle details.” When asked to describe Lotus’ style in three words, she responds: “Compelling, memorable, sexy—actually, I'd use those same words to describe Greg himself!”

Today, Lotus boasts a roster of both editorial and commercial clients, as well as the artistic freedom that comes with success. He recently shot a story for Vogue in Cass, West Virginia. “It’s literally just a three-street town about 30 minutes from where I grew up. What’s so unique about it is that every single piece of housing or school or church or fence is painted white. It totally looks like the set of an Alfred Hitchcock movie—it’s incredible.”

While he has homes in Manhattan and Paris, Miami is still a big part of Lotus’ life. “I have a house here now. I'm here a lot in the winters of course, and we can shoot with the sun. I'm fortunate.”

He can say that again.

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